Dutton Moore is registered as a licensed probate firm.
Being so licensed allows us to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.
This means that not only can we assist you in drafting your Will, but also, when the time comes, we can undertake all aspects of the probate process including those which previously only a solicitor was allowed to do.
Bearing in mind that, throughout your time as a client, we will have already accumulated most of the necessary financial information, we will be ideally placed to deliver a cost-effective service to enhance the amount your beneficiaries will receive.
When considering changes to your Will, we also recommend during your lifetime that you put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney which authorise those you trust to make financial and/or welfare decisions on your behalf should you no longer wish to or be able to.
Our staff will be pleased to explain these to you in more detail and to help you complete the necessary paperwork if requested. Details of our probate accreditation can be viewed on the register of accredited firms at icaew.com/probate under reference number C005313788.
Don’t worry if you’re not an existing client of the firm. If you have been appointed an executor and are uncertain what to do, we’re here to help you meet your legal and administrative obligations.
We start by offering you a free initial consultation to help us get a feel for things and to discuss what it might cost. In the most straight forward cases we may be able to agree a fixed fee, but for more complex matters we would give you a free quotation. This would be based upon the hourly charge-out rates of the partners and staff expected to handle the matter, with the mix being dependent upon the skill levels required.
Our work will typically include securing and recording assets, collating liabilities, completing inheritance tax forms, arranging for settlement of any resulting inheritance tax liability, obtaining the Grant of Probate, realising assets, settling liabilities, distributing assets in accordance with the Will and preparing Estate Accounts which record all of the above.
To give you an idea the cost for a straight forward estate valued at around £500,000 whereby the deceased leaves the entire estate to their surviving spouse may cost between £1,800 and £2,400. On the other hand an estate of £1.5m comprising business interests, commercial property, quoted investments, trust property and cash which is left to a variety of beneficiaries may cost between £6,000 and £9,000.
Please note that the fees illustrated are inclusive of VAT as this will not be recoverable by the executor. The fees do not, however, include disbursements which will be incurred as part of the probate process. Minimally this will be the probate application fee (currently £155) and the cost of copies of the Grant of Probate (currently £1.50 per copy). Additional disbursements that may be incurred could include newspaper notices or tracing fees.
As you might appreciate, all the work outlined above takes time. It can take up to two months from initial appointment to collate all the information required to submit the probate application. HM Courts and Tribunal Service then give themselves up to 8 weeks to process the application, following which the inheritance tax has to be settled before the Grant of Probate can be issued. Only once that has been done can the process of realising assets, discharging liabilities and making distributions to the beneficiaries begin. Overall the timescale for completing an estate administration is dependent upon the complexities of the case and can take up to 18 months.
Our Tax Partner, Colin Hamilton CTA, who holds a certificate in Probate and Estate Administration is the person responsible for overseeing Dutton Moore’s probate work and is assisted by tax manager Ann Robinson who has many years’ experience dealing with probate matters.
We trust that you will be satisfied with the service you receive from Dutton Moore, but should that not be the case, you will have the right to complain to our senior partner Mr. A.R.Bullock (firstname.lastname@example.org) . As an ICAEW member firm, accredited for probate work, we also carry mandatory professional indemnity insurance and you may also be able to claim against the ICAEW’s Probate Compensation Scheme. Further details are contained in the letter of engagement that will be supplied upon appointment.
Our registration also requires us to monitor the diversity of the practice, which was last surveyed in March 2021. Participation in the survey was not mandatory but 90% of the firm’s personnel took part. Summary data showed 43% of respondents identified as female and 52% as male with a cross section of age ranges: 21% of respondents were in the 16-24 age bracket, 11% aged between 25-34, 23% between 35 and 44, 18% between 45 and 54, 11% between 55 and 64, 11% over 65 and 5% preferred not to say. In terms of marital status 32% reported being single, 48% married and 16% divorced. 9% had taken maternity / paternity leave in the past 5 years, all of whom returned to work for the firm and were offered flexible working arrangements at that point. 23% remain a primary carer for children under 18 and 20% provide caring help and support to family, friends or neighbours.
40% of staff hold a chartered accountancy qualification, a further 14% hold other professional qualifications and 26% of staff are in training towards one of these qualifications yet 80% of respondents did not attend university and 91% attended UK state schools. The survey also recorded that 41% of personnel were drawn from backgrounds where the main breadwinner was a traditional tradesman or manual worker. This demonstrates the firm's commitment to social mobility. Reponses regarding disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation show a preponderance of able bodied, British, heterosexual replies with one respondent reporting day to day activities being limited due to a disability. On the matter of faith, 34% identified as Christian, whilst 55% said they had no religion and 11% preferred not to say. The firm considers that such responses are to be expected given the small population sample and as a reflection of the locality in which the firm operates. That said, the firm remains open to employing suitable personnel of whatever ethnicity and belief and has facilities to accommodate disabled staff. Full details of the survey have been submitted to the ICAEW for collation with nationwide data.
"The Walker Group has worked with Dutton Moore for more than 30 years. They have acted on behalf of all the Group’s companies and the family and are trusted and highly experienced business accountants, auditors and business advisers."Lee Davies, A.C.A, Financial Director, Walker Group
"We have worked with Dutton Moore for many years and have always received a first-rate service. The team at Dutton Moore provide us with invaluable accountancy, strategic planning and business advice as we continue to be a growing business in this region."Simon Gibson, Director at Simon Gibson Transport Ltd, Goole, East Yorkshire
Grain merchants and farmers, Burstwick, East Yorkshire:Jeremy Saunt, Director at Johnson and Saunt
"We have been clients of Dutton Moore for more than 20 years – they carry out all our accountancy work and business advice, their service and attention to detail is outstanding."
"Dutton Moore are an excellent provider of financial services for significant Hull based businesses such as Smales. We have worked with the firm for many decades and are guaranteed sound financial and business advice, alongside the general accountancy services that they provide. What is key for my Company is the direct involvement of the partners with the Smales management."Robin Orr B.Com; C.A; C.T.A, Financial Director, F.Smales & Son (F.M.) Ltd, Hull
"Having worked with Dutton Moore for many years now, we have always found the service extremely professional, prompt and courteous. As a growing business over the years their advice has been exemplary and without their valuable assistance in accounting and strategic planning we would have found the many transitions of growth a lot more challenging."Richard Spencer, Commercial Director, Spencer Signs Ltd, Hull
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